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Indiana University announces five new distinguished professors


INDIANAPOLIS -- Five Indiana University scholars and researchers have been promoted to distinguished professor, the highest academic rank within the institution. 

The appointments were approved today by the IU Board of Trustees at their meeting on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. 

The five new distinguished professors include IU Bloomington professors Katy Börner, a visualization researcher from the School of Informatics and Computing; Roger P. Hangarter, a molecular plant biologist from the Department of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences; Stanley Ritchie, a professor of violin and early music in the Jacobs School of Music; and Eliot R. Smith, a researcher of cognition and emotions from Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bruce Molitoris, a researcher of renal disease at the IU School of Medicine's Department of Medicine in Indianapolis, also has achieved the rank of distinguished professor. 

"These individuals exemplify the very best of public education, through their exceptional contributions to a wide variety of disciplines," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Through research, teaching and service, all of them have consistently achieved the highest standards of academic scholarship, leadership and integrity. We are proud to honor these outstanding members of our faculty with Indiana University's most prestigious appointment."

The distinguished professorship recognizes faculty who have transformed their fields of study and have earned international recognition. Faculty, alumni, professional colleagues and students nominate the field of candidates, based on outstanding research, scholarship and artistic or literary distinction. Nominations are reviewed by the University Distinguished Ranks Committee, which recommends appointments.

The university's annual Celebration of Distinguished Teaching will take place April 8 in Alumni Hall at the Indiana Memorial Union in Bloomington. The new distinguished professors will be formally recognized at the event.

Below are brief biographies, which link to longer profiles on the University Honors and Awards website:

Katy Börner

Börner, the Victor H. Yngve Professor of Information Science in the School of Informatics and Computing, is an internationally recognized expert on data visualization. At IU, she is a research affiliate of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and the Biocomplexity Institute and founding director of the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center.

She is author or co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed publications, including her influential monograph "Atlas of Science: Visualizing What We Know." She also curated the international traveling exhibition "Places and Spaces: Mapping Science." Börner was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2012.

Roger P. Hangarter

Hangarter, the Class of 1968 Chancellor's Professor of Biology in the Department of Biology of the College of Arts and Sciences, is an expert on the mechanisms by which plants respond to their environment. His interest in science and art also led to the exhibition "sLowlife" at IU Bloomington's Hope School of Fine Arts in 2003, which later opened at the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory in Washington.

He is past president of the American Society of Plant Biologists and a winner of teaching awards from the society and the Botanical Society of America. Hangarter also won National Science Foundation Science Visualization Challenge Award in 2005.

Stanley Ritchie

Ritchie, professor of violin in the Jacobs School of Music, is one of the world's premier Baroque violinists and is an expert on historical performance. He has served as concertmaster of the New York City Opera and the Musica Aeterna Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera and assistant concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony. He also was in several prominent quartets.

He has taught at IU since 1982 and also served as artistic director of the Bloomington Early Music Festival. In 2009, Ritchie received Early Music America’s highest award, the Howard Mayer Brown Award for Lifetime Achievement in Early Music.

Eliot R. Smith

Smith, the War Years Chancellor's Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences of the College of Arts and Sciences, is a leading expert in how people interact with social groups.

He has received the American Psychological Association's James McKeen Cattell Award, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues' Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology's Theoretical Innovation Prize. He is a charter fellow of the American Psychological Society, a member of the American Psychological Association and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Bruce A. Molitoris

Molitoris, professor of medicine and cellular and integrative physiology in the IU School of Medicine, is one of a select few international leaders in nephrology. His pioneering research has focused on what is now referred to as acute kidney injury, formerly known as acute renal failure.

He has been recognized by "Best Doctors in America" in 2009-15 and has served as president of the American Society of Nephrology in 2012-13. Molitoris has published more than 100 original research papers and holds six patents. He also is the manager of INphoton LLC and medical director of FAST BioMedical.